Hi has anyone had this issue. Am I over-reacting? Would you cancel this booking for tomorrow? Sorry so long...
I had a guest enquire Tuesday night for Friday. I was dealing with the grocery order that finally turned up after it took a two day tour of Britain and was conscious of the eminent lockdown so maybe my judgement was flawed? He has been a member since 2019 and doesn't have any reviews. I accepted, because his situation didn't sound any different to any of the other people with no reviews in urgent need of temporary accommodation who have contacted me, but he actually sounded more reasonable and less pushy... Due to COVID I have had 6 other guests enquire about long term stay just this month - a huge number for me. Most don't have any reviews, and all have had a ton of questions and requirements as if they are buying the place - as well as having had other irregularities like they have animals and want to stop by first to 'discuss things' (ie they want a discount on the already bargain long-stay price). As he seemed less demanding, and the lockdown was about to start, I agreed.
SO: The booking comes through and all it has is two initials for the name! Has anyone had this and thought it was okay? The full name is never anywhere except on the paid booking confirmation in all my bookings so far, so I wasn't worried that his original message just had an first initial. (He also signed off with a first name in the inox correspondence.) Up to him if he wants to remain discreet with his public profile. I honestly didn't think this was possible to carry through a booking with just initials.
I text him in a nice way putting it down to a glitch in the system and asking him to "help me out" by asking Airbnb to fix the booking with his full name. No response. I contacted Airbnb Customer Service for the second time again this morning. I get the usual friendly, canned assurances: 'rest assured Airbnb is here to help and takes your security with utmost seriousness' etc. But I still don't have a full name on the booking. How can they take our security seriously if they haven't matched a name on his profile to the government ID they checked? I am not even sure if they have a copy of the ID at this point.
Am I just being pedantic?
The first agent I spoke to yesterday phoned me back to say he couldn't give me the guests name for privacy reasons!! And something to the effect: that he couldn't just call the guest out of the blue and ask him to change his profile to include his name. What??!
After the second customer service agent got involved and phoned the guest, the guest finally responded and messaged me their name and the other guest's name. However, this name still does not match with the name on the booking confirmation, which just has two initials. I messaged Airbnb back again asking them to at least confirm that the name the guest gave me matches what is on the supposed government ID they verified. I got the same polite response that I should rest assured that they take my security seriously. However they did not confirm that the name matched. I assume this is down to more data protection!
Like many hosts I well know that I could have their full real name (and even a copy of their passport) and they could still be a terrible or dangerous guest. I just feel like if they either aren't willing to (or cannot be bothered to) give such basic information as their full name (and have to be asked and then phoned by customer service over two days) it is worrying. It is also worrying that Airbnb verified and allowed someone to book with only giving initials.
I don't need this. I work fulltime +overtime and it is a madhouse over here with the latest lockdown. I just had a guest who stayed 3 months leave, so (although they were a nice guest) there is a large amount of cleaning to do. Brand new washer not working. Spent my two days off waiting and on the phone with the grocery store, trying to find out where my grocery delivery was and then 70% of it either didn't arrive or was changed, so I had to re-order. Spent the rest of the time dealing with this.
I am conscious that being stressed maybe has caused me to be irrational. I mean it is still a big risk to rent to people regardless.
Would you cancel?
@Tatyana5 You are so right. It's ridiculous how some things work on this platform. Your imaginary police exchange illustrates that so well. That was priceless - funny/not funny, lol.
Good luck with this guest!
I think you should follow your guts.
It is not a matter if the guy could be nice or bad - even if it is important.
It is a legal matter.
Except UK law is different, identity MUST be written on the reservation.
because a reservation is a furnished lease and the identity of the tenant must be written to how who is the tenant.
So Airbnb explaining that they can't display the identity because of privacy is not only bull**bleep** but your reservation is illegal.
And Airbnb produce (writes) the reservation (furnished lease)! So they are responsible.
I never accept an illegal reservation.
The tenant must give me his full identity (name, 1st name, birth date and birth place) and show me an ID when arriving.
AND the reservation and the ID must be have the same name.
Of not, no key because no lease!
It is as simple as that.
If the full identity is not displayed on the reservation, it means you let a squatter come inside.
If you wish to go on with this secret gentleman, i suggest you sign a private UK furnished lease + copy of the ID in addition of the Airbnb reservation.
There might have legal and insurance issues if things are not done properly.
Here is what i would do :
- write and call Airbnb to say the reservation without identity tenant is illegal because it is a furnished lease.
- As long as THEY don't update the reservation with the identity of the tenant, you won't let nobody come in.
And you explain to the guest that the reservation is illegal and that he must update his profile with his full identity before coming and that an ID with the same name must be shown when arriving.
This is very interesting Nathalie. Thank you! Airbnb have a lot ot answer for as it is, but this is privacy laws gone crazy. I just cannot believe they (or the guest) think/thought this is acceptable.
Last year i had a 9 months reservation with 10 good reviews from all over the world.
When accepting the request, all was false on the profile.
No face photo (it is mandatory in my house rules). Humm!
I guessed all was false it because she said she was russian and the reservation name sounded american. The country Bulgaria instead of Russia.
For long term reservation, my rules are that a French contract is signed + copy of ID (it is the law here).
I asked her to download a face photo and that if the name on the reservation was different from the ID, the reservation would be can cancelled.
5 minutes later, she changed completly her Airbnb profile information (photo, name, country) but i did not like her lies.
Not a good start for a 9 months tenant.
Hopefully, her work contract was broken because of the 2020 economic crisis and she cancelled.
And i had the loveliest student tenant instead.
A real gentleman.
UPDATE: For anyone who is interested... I found out that Airbnb also do not have access to guests' IDs. They have a 3rd party verify the government ID, but the company does not see or have the ID on record. The guest is then allowed to change their name on their Airbnb profile to whatever they like. So (presumably) if they use a credit card that is not their real name, as far as I can see, Airbnb will not necessarily know what a guest's real/full name is either.
If you see the importance of knowing who is staying at your property (and, like mine, your country of residence does not require you to check ID, so requesting it therefore makes for an uncomfortable situation and the potential for bad feelings) I urge you to give feedback to Airbnb about this issue.
As a further Update... I accepted the guest for the 7 week stay for reasons already mentioned. They stayed two days and then their plans drastically changed (and of course they didn't want to have to pay the full amount.
@Tatyana5 And this is exactly why hosts should listen to their gut reactions. A guest who balks at giving you their full name is someone I would not trust.
It's also why I will never use Instant Book. I want the opportunity to decline a booking that doesn't smell right to me, rather than have to try to cancel it after the fact.